March 31, 2019
From Our Principal
Greetings Parents,

Thank you to everyone who attended our Poetry Jam, and a special thank you to Julie Peterson Manz for organizing the event and to Jen Vlasman Schell, Lori Bowker, Lachmi Malhotra, Tasneem Sutarwala, Brandy Besemer, Janette Kiso and Kaitlin Toon for transforming the Forum into a beautiful French cafe, providing assistance throughout the event and restoring the space afterwards! Our students use their voices and their brains in such beautiful and brave ways!

I also want to thank all the families who attended the Connect High School informational meeting on Wednesday. If you missed it, here's the slide deck I used, including a link at the end to express your interest or desire to attend next year! Here are some words about the program to lend clarity about our mission:

Over the past 8 months, I have been collaborating with Da Vinci Schools' CEO Matt Wunder and a team of consultants and experts to develop a high school model that we believe will serve the educational community in unique and important ways. It will give students opportunities to leverage their interests, talents and strengths while also providing a flexible schedule in order to devote time to those passions. Students will receive in-person and virtual supports as well as opportunities to build community together. Our program will provide students with pathways that enable them to accomplish significant amounts of college credit learning while in high school. Students will graduate having completed A-G high school curriculum (and thus a HS diploma) while also completing college credits equivalent to an AA (and even a bachelor's degree!) or their IGETC UC/CSU transferable credits (the equivalent of the first two years of college). Additionally, with the DVX model already in existence, we can leverage this to ensure students who need time beyond the 9-12 timeframe can do so to complete that college work, debt-free. 

The Connect HS model will not use the current Hybrid or Collaborative on-campus structure (it is not simply a "two day high school") and instead intends to give students and families even more flexibility. It also does not require parents to homeschool but it is an independent study model. Students receive comprehensive curriculum that fulfills all high school and college courses for free and they work at their pace to complete that using Connect staff supports, community building opportunities and field studies (field trips). It aims to provide flexibility to students/families and encourages kids to identify their talents and interests, develop self-efficacy, implement project based learning to explore their passions and engage in real world learning, all while completing high school and college coursework.

If you have an 8th grade student who is interested in this program, please be sure to fill out the interest form at the end of the presentation slide deck.

Lastly, but very importantly, I can't wait to see you at this year's fourth Parent Educator Conference this Wednesday! Let's face it--parenting is hard and kids don't come with a manual. Have you checked out the workshop options!? So many great topics to choose from... Find workshop descriptions in the PEC blurb below.
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From Our Dean of Students
Hello Families!

We have noticed an increase of "after school hangouts" happening during pick up, and we LOVE it! We are seeing families connecting, playdates being planned, and friendships growing within our community!

Additionally, we want to make sure that these connections can continue safely while Michelle and I navigate afternoon pickup: If you plan to spend some time together on campus after school, please do so either on the grass to the right of the pickup gate (in front of DVX/RISE), or by our garden area in front of campus (by the chalkboard door). This will allow us to ensure we are safely delivering students to their families/cars. Please take a moment to notice: if you are standing between the gate (where Michelle is usually stationed) and the line of cars (where Kaitlin is usually stationed), that means you are blocking children from seeing where they need to go. Also, as always, please make sure that you are closely supervising your child(ren) at ALL times. Thank You!

We look forward to seeing you at PEC 4 on Wednesday--the lineup of presenters is INCREDIBLE! Thank you in advance to everyone who is presenting and also to everyone who is making time and space in their schedules to learn and connect with us!
Things You Need to Know This Week!
Parent Educator Conference #4!
Wednesday, April 3
Our next Parent Educator Conference is almost here! Mykie's Coffee Truck will be there to fuel your energy for the day, and we have an incredible lineup of presenters for you, including many of our own DV Connect parents! 

Let's face it--parenting is hard and kids don't come with a manual! That's why there's PEC! We've searched for experts and inspiring speakers, gathered them in one place and made it easy for you to soak up their wisdom all in one place! Feel free to invite a friend!

Please sign up here for Kid Care and here for our potluck lunch. See you there!
Short Film Premier from AAAW (Awesome Actors And Writers)
Thursday, April 4, 3:30-4:30 pm
The Forum
Come watch the official premier of the short film "Mary and the Battle of Kings," presented by AAAW (Awesome Actors And Writers)! Check out more information here.
Work Journal #4 Due Date
Friday, April 5 by 4 pm
Please note that Work Journal #4 is due on the last day of the work journal period! This is due to mandatory state attendance reporting deadlines. Thank you for making sure we receive your work journal on Friday, April 5. If you turn in Work Journal #4 late, DV Connect will not collect funding for the entire six weeks of this work journal period. This could result in us needing to implement monthly work journals next year. (Some of you remember the good ol’ days of 9 work journals!) Thank you for helping us keep the number of work journals down! 
The Kindness Movement’s Annual Bunny Drive!
It’s that time of year again! Time to “hop” to it, because the Kindness Movement is collecting bunnies! Please bring in your new or gently used stuffed bunnies to the DV Connect office, and drop them into our “Bunny Drop” bin! Your sweet and cuddly donations will then be delivered to a local shelter for women and children on Easter morning! Thank you so very much, and Hoppy Spring!
Science Museum FAN Event
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, April 24/25/26
Does your child love science? Want to feature your awesome homeschool science learning at our Science Museum event? You can!

Students will set up their displays/tri-folds in the Forum on M/T/W April 22-24 and classes will visit on Wednesday (Collaborative) and Thursday/Friday (Hybrid). Please encourage your kids to participate - kids love sharing their learning and seeing what others have done! Sign up here to take part. Please note: we needed to change the format of the event and eliminate some aspects due to the lack of a coordinator for this awesome FAN event. Please know that your leadership and participation as a parent makes a difference! Contact to help with future events! 
Mykie’s Coffee and Baked Goods Truck Coming to DV Connect!
Every Tuesday, 8:30-10:00 am
Leave your coffee and breakfast at home! Every Tuesday, Mykie’s Coffee and Baked Goods Truck will be stationed in front of our forum ready to supply you with their delicious coffee and yummy baked goods from 8:30 am until 10:00 am! Mykie’s Coffee and Baked Goods Truck is part of Mychal’s Learning Center, a local program here in Hawthorne that provides job training and job placement for adults with special needs. We are so excited to be able to have them here at our school each Tuesday and to be able to support such an amazing local business and cause!
The 2019 Annual Fund Matching Challenge Is On!
Make your donation or pledge by April 30, 2019 and your gift will be doubled!!

Missed #GivingTuesday? We have another amazing opportunity to make a gift in support of Da Vinci Schools. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our industry and philanthropic partners (Chevron, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Pipkin Charitable Foundation, and The John H. and Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation), all donations to the Da Vinci Schools Annual Fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $75,000!!

This matching challenge is only available for a limited time. Make your donation or pledge by April 30, 2019, and your gift will be doubled! All pledge payments must be received by June 30, 2019 to be eligible for the match.
Make an impact. Give now. With your support, we will continue to provide an exceptional college and career-ready education for the next generation of innovators and creative problem solvers.

(P.S. There are many ways to support Da Vinci Schools. If you are interested in volunteering for the Annual Giving Campaign, please email our team at 
Marker Recycling Program!
Spring cleaning over Spring Break? Don’t throw out your old plastic markers: ColorCycle them! Look for a box in the office with the sign at right, and drop in any used plastic markers to be recycled through Crayola's ColorCycle program! All brands are accepted, and dry-erase markers and highlighters can be included.
Coming Up...Save the Date!
Da Vinci Connect Yearbooks
Yearbooks are available for order online now until April 18. See flyer for more information.
State Testing!
April----through May
Students in grades 3-8 will be participating in the state mandated SBAC tests in ELA and MATH, students in grades 5 and 8 will participate in the CA Science Test (CAST), and students in grades 5 and 7 will participate in the Physical Fitness Test (PFT). While this sounds like quite a lot (it is!) we do our absolute best to schedule and administer each test in a way that is LEAST impactful to our students and learning community. Thank you for trusting us to navigate this mandatory experience in the most compassionate way possible!

?Please note that as a state and federally-funded school, we are required to reach the state testing participation rate in order to receive funds and have the leeway to run the kind of program we do. We ask that you do not opt out of state testing as that puts us in jeopardy of being categorized as a "program improvement" school, which would mandate curriculum and programmatic changes we do not want to see. Thank you!

If you'd like more information about state testing, please read this notification letter drafted by the California Department of Education. If you have questions about state testing, please e-mail Kaitlin.
Mon/Tues/Wed, April 8/9/10, 5-6:30 pm
Exhibition is fast approaching, and we are SO excited! More information will come from your child's classroom teacher. Please note the Exhibition Dress Code flyer as you start to support your child in preparing for this community event.
Eighth Grade Photos - Save the Date!
Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 pm
Eighth grade students are invited to participate in an 8th grade photo shoot with our amazing photographer, Stacee Lianna! Please reserve Wednesday, April 24, at 3:30 - location TBD.
Connect Silent Auction FUNdraiser!
May 13th, evening (more info coming soon!)

Our Second Annual Silent Auction night is around the corner. On this night, we come together as a community as we raise funds for our school. It if a fun filled evening and we hope you are saving the date and planning to be there. Ticket sales and more information will be heading your way-- starting next week.
Summer Camp Signups Are Here!
You've been asking, so we created a lineup of three awesome experiences! Check out the flyer and register here!
Cultural Fair (and homeschool ideas!)
May 30th
Have you ever wanted to learn about your heritages? Well, here's your chance! At the 2019 Cultural Fair/End of the Year Social, families will learn about the unique traditions, arts, food and culture of their heritages and those of others. So join us for a fun-filled cultural potluck to wrap up the 2018-2019 school year on May 30th!
If you need ideas for Work Journal #5, next week I will provide a guide to homeschool projects you can do related to and in preparation for the event!
This event has been organized by 8th grader Flora for the past several years. Help her make this event an awesome culmination to her vision for an annual Connect Cultural Fair that celebrates the diversity of our community!
The Parent Center @ DV Connect

Come See PBL (performance based learning!) in action!
April 4th from 3:30-4:30, in The Forum
** Come watch the official premier of the short film "Mary and the Battle of Kings," presented by AAAW (Awesome Actors And Writers). You can also see them in action on their YouTube Channel at YouTube/AWESOMEACTORSANDWRITERS 

NEW DATE FOR PART III: Workshop: Creating a Robust Social-Emotional Learning Toolkit
A Three-Part Series: 3/4, 3/19 & 4/29 (Sign up here)
Part 3 is coming April 29th, 2:00-3:15. Join Janette and fellow parents to talk best practices around anxiety!
Have a great week!
~ Your DV Connect Team